ESPN to broadcast college football playoffsBy RACHEL COHEN
THe Associated Press | November 22,2012NEW YORK — The college football playoff system will be televised on ESPN for 12 years once it starts after the 2014 season, the network said Wednesday.
The title game will be played on a Monday, at least a week after the semifinals.
The deal is worth about $470 million a year, a person with knowledge of the terms said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the fee had not been announced.
“Folks are going to love this playoff and the attention ESPN will give to it,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.
ESPN’s current four-year contract to air the Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls along with the BCS title game is worth about $125 million per year.
ESPN will own the rights to all six bowls involved in the four-team playoff system. Conference commissioners had decided that the two semifinals would rotate among those half-dozen sites; the four not involved each year will host major bowl games similar to the current BCS contests. The title game will be bid out each season through a separate process, as the Super Bowl is for the NFL.
There will be three “contract bowls” that offer automatic bids to particular conferences in years they don’t host one of the semifinals: the Rose, Sugar and Orange. The network already had separate deals for the same 12-year period through the 2025 season for those games, which are affiliated with the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC and SEC.
The new agreement also gives ESPN the rights to the three “host bowls,” which will feature at-large teams along with the top squad from the group of five conferences without ties to a contract bowl. The sites for the host bowls are still to be determined, though the most likely landing spots are the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Wednesday’s agreement in principle includes rights for TV, radio, mobile, online and international.
“Because of college football’s widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games,” ESPN President John Skipper said.
College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.MORE IN Wire Sports
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1618, English author, poet, soldier, adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for conspiring to overthrow King James I, but more likely to mollify offenses to Spain. His executioner has to implore him for silence.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1492, Italian explorer, admiral of the ocean sea, Christopher Columbus, sailing for the Spanish crown, 'discovers' Cuba; on this day in 1964, U.S. officials deny American involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
- Video: Fire engulfs house on Pine Street
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1936, Mrs. Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, mistress of King Edward VIII, is granted her second divorce, enabling her to marry the king. The government, the Church of England and the London Times have another idea.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.